Atanu Dey On India's Development

We need a Paradigm Shift regarding Dr Manmohan Singh

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The Copernican Revolution.

In the Western tradition, the idea that the sun revolves around the earth — geocentrism — is known as the Ptolemaic model. It was a notion that led people to explain astronomical observations such as the movements of planets with convoluted arguments and constructs. In 1543 Copernicus provided an alternative hypothesis — heliocentrism — which placed the sun at the center of the solar system, and was later confirmed in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. From geocentrism to heliocentrism was a “paradigm shift” (a term much abused in the modern day.) That shift in perspective allowed people to think correctly about the Solar system.

Some people in India need a paradigm shift when thinking about Dr Manmohan Singh, the unelected (and unelectable) but appointed prime minister of India.

Currently we have what I call the “integritism” model — the conjecture and assumption that Dr MM Singh is a man of honesty and integrity. I coined that term based on what the Wiki describes as “integrity“:

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.

Integritism and Hypocritism

Working under the integritism model, people come up with astonishingly stupid statements. It leads them into convoluted arguments to explain why Dr Singh appears to behave paradoxically. The equivalent of epicycles and complex mechanisms are pulled out of the bin to show that while he appears to be dishonest, he is actually not. Take for instance this article, “Why did the 2G scam occur right under Manmohan Singh’s nose,” which starts off with

Amid the growing bewilderment among all sections of the people about the succession of corruption cases tumbling out of the cupboards of the Government, one question remains an enigma, about the 2G spectrum scam. How did the admittedly and inarguably the most honest and humble Prime Minister India has seen, preside over such brazen actions of then Telecom Minister A.Raja? {Emphasis added.}

Admittedly? By whom? And inarguably? That argument has not been made ever in the Indian media. Argument by assertion is no a valid form of argument.

It is an assertion that MMS is honest, an assertion not borne out by facts. Widely known and accepted facts? Yes, the author of that article goes on at length to state facts that enormous sums have been stolen by people whom MMS directly controls. And yet the author, in contradiction to the facts that he or she presents, continues to write absolute nonsense by asserting a proposition that is contradicted by evidence. This is what is called “cognitive dissonance” in polite company, and in honest company simply called stupidity.

But all is not bleak, I think. Some people are beginning to bring about the revolution that India needs in thinking about Dr Singh. I call it the paradigm shift to “hypocritism” — from Wiki,

Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.

Let’s take an example of someone who has recognized the problem with integritism. Madhu Purnima Kishwar writing in Outlook in an article titled “Honestly Speaking” starts off with

I fail to understand why almost every commentator, every TV anchor, every editorial writer feels compelled to pay ritual obeisance to the “personal honesty and integrity” of Dr Manmohan Singh while dealing with the scandals emanating from his cabinet colleagues. They do so even when there is clear evidence that the Prime Minister was well aware of various shady deals, as in the case of Telecom scam, and that he did nothing to stop the brazen economic crimes indulged in by his ministerial colleagues over the last 6 years.

Corruption is not only about personally accepting monetary bribes and stacking them away in hidden bank accounts overseas, buying benami properties or accepting diamond sets for your wife. Corruption can come in insidious avatars, such as knowingly turning a blind eye to the misuse the entire machinery of governance to serve private ends of a few individuals, even to the point of endangering national security. For example, not a single person has been punished thus far for supplying sub standard bullet proof jackets to the police handling the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai. Not surprisingly, we are right now witnessing yet another scam involving sub- standard bullet proof vests.

You must read Kishwar’s article to remind yourself of the laundry list of absolutely despicable corrupt acts that Dr Singh has enabled. Enabling corruption, condoning corruption, helping shield the corrupt from the consequences — that too is corruption.

The paradigm shift — pardon me for using that term — India needs is from integritism to hypocritism. The moment you posit that “Dr Manmohan Singh is a despicably dishonest man,” you can explain why scams amounting to billions of dollars are routine under his watch. It no longer is a mystery. In another country where the people are vigilant and care about truth, honesty and integrity, he would have been impeached and locked up. Well, if not locked up, he would have been tarred and feathered.

Taking Credit under False Pretexts

I was asked the other day when did I reached the conclusion that perhaps Dr Singh was indeed a truly despicably dishonest man. It was years ago that I had heard from absolutely reliable sources that when he was the finance minister in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government, he had brought to PVNR a budget that was just a re-hash of the socialist nonsense that previous governments had been following. PVNR took a look at it and told Dr Singh that it was garbage and he should frame one which will liberalize the Indian economy.

Dr Singh, the unimaginative bureaucrat that he was (and is), did as he was told. So essentially the liberalization of the Indian economy was PVNR’s idea, not Dr MM Singh’s. I did not care either way: liberalization was good and I was happy that at least India became a somewhat liberalized economy. But as time went on, I noticed that Dr Singh started taking credit for something that he probably did not even support, leave alone being the author of. I realized that he lacked integrity. The Copernican Revolution had happened in my mind. What was missing was Galileo’s telescope to see the evidence.

That started coming out. Scam after scam and Dr MM Singh was there to oversee them all. Yes, it was clear that he was truly a despicably dishonest man. Proof that he had fancy little to do with liberalization aside from taking dictation is also there if only we care to see. He has not done one bit of liberalization. In fact quite the contrary. Look around and see.

Dr Brown Nose

I cannot imagine a less honest person. He follows orders. And he is the master of brown-nosery. I recall reading what he said about the “National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme” — that was “Sonia Gandhi’s gift to the country.”

WTF-ery does not get more acute.

NREGA is a income-distribution scheme. Our incomes are taxed and then the government spends it on giving money to people for getting their votes. Where does Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi come in? Does all the tax money go into her personal bank account and become her personal property? And then she takes a few billion from her personal account in a Swiss bank and pay for NREGA? WHISKEY. TANGO. FOXTROT.

Did the Indian media ever ask Dr Singh what he meant by saying that Sonia Gandhi gave it as a gift to India? No. The main stream Indian media has great people like Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt (ach Poo!).

Dr Divide and Rule

Dr MM Singh is a despicably dishonest person. His is the politics of divisiveness. He is dividing the country along religious lines just to keep his Muslim vote bank intact. He addresses the nation not as “My dear fellow Indians” but as “My dear Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians” etc. What a fucking (pardon my French) douchebag.

Now if you will excuse me, I will have to end this as I feel nauseated just talking about MMS. I have to go and throw up — which is a pity since I had a good breakfast and now it will all go down the tube. It is a pity that India had a lot of promise but MMS has flushed it down the tube.

Related Posts:

1. Manmohan Singh is a Despicably Dishonest Man. May 2010.

2. Manmohan Singh is really and truly a Despicably Dishonest Man. June 2010.

  • http://twitter.com/jatkesha Jatkesha

    Manmohan Singh is a fucking dickhead. Period.

    PS: Please pardon my language.

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  • gaurav

    Brilliant piece.Was long overdue.

  • Gopi

    Actually, he was SecGen of South South Commission – a body full of socialists n statists – n produced a report along those lines just few months before he became FM. Also, he was a top policy adviser to the worst economic policy regime we ever had – Indira Raj in early 70′s. Fake Singh Dhongi told Ed Gargen of NYT in 94 that he came to realize about futility of state control of economy, commanding heights etc in mid 60′s and yet had no hesitation in joining the worst statist regime we ever had. There are many such things about this man I have been ranting for 18 long years but without any listener.Finally, people have woken up about this fake.

  • ashok

    Excellent and so true. At least some people are not fooled. And what about purchasing of votes to save the govt. Our MSM forgets all this.

  • Sabarish

    Fully agree with Madhu@Outlook. I felt the same way. Why is he given a clean chit when he allowed such things to happen. And he was fully in the know of things. Its not just him, anyone in the hierarchy with enough powers to have derailed this scam but chose not to act, should be brought to book. One such exemplary judgement is all we need. Then we will start seeing more people putting their foot down against scams in the future. Such a judgement will force them to act.

    It has always been one of my major grouses when i see how scams and similar cases are dealt with. The buck always stops at the lowest possible level. Abetting an unlawful act is a punishable offense as well.

  • Jagadish

    I don’t know if Manmohan is dishonest, but he sure as hell is utterly incapable of working as prime minister. His incompetence beggars belief. He’s probably cut out to be a professor or middle manager. I’d say the country has been running itself in spite of him.

    He may claim to be a “man of integrity” but that alone is an utterly inadequate qualification for a president or PM of a country. Heck, a 1-year old baby is a “person of integrity” and wields just about the same amount of control over his fellow human beings.

    Manmohan was, is and will never be anything better than a powerless and pathetically incompetent showpiece, but an honest one, no doubt.

    His epitaph would read “I was an abysmal failure, nearly ruined the country as PM, but at least I was a man of integrity”.

  • Loknath

    LAW, UNLAWFUL.. what the F these animals are about. They dont apply to the saviours and protectors of India…aka the progeny of nehru-ghandy dynasty

  • Loknath

    I wonder how is Subramaniam Swamy alive until now. Usually anyone who spoke against congis were killled in an “accident”

  • loknath
  • rishi

    You are presuming that Manmonhan Singh had the power to appoint Mr Raja or if he was displeased with him to sack him. Any Indian will tell you that he does not have such power.

    As they say, power corrupts. Ipso facto the lack of power will not corrupt an already honest man.

  • Anand

    People around the world seem to focus on personality a lot. I think this is because it is easier to analyze and saves them the trouble of actually thinking. Whether it is Manmohan Singh or Sarah Palin, there is a vast number of people who seem to think that people’s personal ethics and personally professed principles matter more than the effect of their policies. Whereas personal/interpersonal ethics affect a small number of people (a few thousand maybe), policies affect millions and millions. Personality cults seem to be part of the Zeitgeist of our times.

  • http://www.shriram.org Jatin Pandya

    Good article – it is high time this Man Moron is brought to justice for his actions (or lack of it thereof).

    Specifically, his behavior in regard to Spectrum scandal reminds me of a joke, which coincidentally is a Sardar joke – please don’t take it personally. A Sardar told another “I fooled Indian Railways”. Asked another, “How come?”. “Well”, Sardar said, “I bought a return ticket to Delhi, but didn’t go back”.

    Similarly, on another extreme, MMS thinks that merely writing to the Telecom minister was enough to bring him line. Actually, MMS knew that the Minister would not – and MMS was just trying to save his ass – in an half-ass effort.

  • L.kalavathi

    Our PM’s behaviour signals the general malaise in Indian
    society. We see such people everywhere, in corporates,
    banks, colleges, schools– they turn a blind eye and
    corruption flourishes. In places like banks, a
    corrupt General Manager ensures that his/her corrupt coterie
    gets kicked upstairs, often at the cost of real
    talent and capabilities. The mediocrity rules
    and effectively demotivates the general staff.
    What next? Luckily for some there is an exit
    option called Voluntary Retirement.
    Its surprising that our country is deemed to
    be on a high- I think its a mirage.
    Kalavathi, L.

  • VikramAditya

    Taking Credit under False Pretexts

    “Dr Singh, the unimaginative bureaucrat that he was (and is), did as he was told. So essentially the liberalization of the Indian economy was PVNR’s idea, not Dr MM Singh’s.”

    I think Liberalization of the Indian economy was perhaps based on Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s proposed model.

    Please, see the following link

    http://www.janataparty.org/articledetail.asp?rowid=15

    Dhanyavad

  • Mohan Ramchandani

    liberalization by MMS/PVNR ? I dont think so. There was no choice
    left at that time. India was on the brink of bankruptcy. We had hypothicated our gold to import few drops of oil. And, all this had happened because of the licence raj polices of congress for forty long years. There was no choice but to liberalize .

  • mahendra

    Just read the article n many times in our friendly discussions also i was telling e1 tht he is a very corrupt down trodden PM of our gr8 country serving his own n Soniaji’s purpose n’t worrying abt us or our country n in article well said tht if it had happened in some other big or samll country he would hv been punished instantly but here we all cowards public allow it .
    See the other incident the CM of maharastra indicted n still cases r going against him n instantly w/o shame or moral immediately he is promoted as a central govt minister!!!! Waht more do we ecpect form him!!! shame on us!!!

  • Akhand Bharat

    Some hidden facts about the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty
    http://nehru-gandhi.blogspot.com/

  • Ravi

    MMS (PUIH) and SG (PUAR)obviously take shelter behind the ’3 evils’ policy by which you need to neither ‘see’, nor ‘hear’ nor ‘speak’, till a voyeuristic ELM or some other unsecured source throws the dirt in to public space for endless debates and mud-slinging; The ‘spokespersons’ may then use such ‘God sends’ to keep themselves gainfully engaged with beatific smiles and simulated indignations that keep the urban viewers perpetually amused and craving for more. Still MMS (PUIH) can hide behind the comforting truth that if there are an increasing number of ‘doubting Thomases’ there are an equal number of ‘unpaid’ defence attorneys, the protagonist himself not being called upon to even clarify let alone defend.

    A great pedestal to sit on without having to generate a drop of sweat.

    One can only envy MMS (PUIH)

  • http://ketpan.Wordpress.com Ketan

    I still maintain, the most blatant instances of MMS’ dishonesty are not that seen originating in *other* ministries, but the manner in which he had tried to get the nuclear liability bill passed. I don’t understand why is that never cited as testament of his deceptiveness!

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  • Dinesh

    Why don’t we rechristened Manmohan Singh as Mormon Singh.
    Even TheOnion is taking a shot at this guy.

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  • K.Sanjeevi Rao

    Integritism and hypocritism well defined with ref. to MMS. I fully agree we need a Paradigm Shift reg. MMS.

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  • Venkat

    I completely agree with this article The more we look at indian governments affairs it seems like Ali Baba and his cabinet of thieves.
    MM is the Mukhota of the corrupt Congress and the Media is in a frenzy to absolve him of all Crimes even without investigating. They talk of Moral High Ground of Sonia time and again in not accepting PM’s post while we all know that she was told why she could not become the PM.

  • http://socioproctology.blogspot.com/ polypubs

    What amazes me is my own willingness to fool myself, the willingness of our generation to fool ourselves- was it something they put in the ovaltine?- why do we keep falling for this notion that some decrepit old duffer who did not actually start his career as a cut-throat is actually a ‘person of sterling integrity’ simply because he mumbles and stumbles about owlishly? Singh could simply have emigrated rather than serve the Govt. of India during the 70′s. If nothing else, the massacre of the Sikhs should have got his blood up.
    But, no, he clung to his post- time-server that he is. Why? What good does he do?
    The guy is an economist, he knows about stuff like auction design, even if Raja didn’t- yet he lets this happen on his watch! Ken Binmore raised 34 billion dollars for the U.K Govt from their (3G) auction some years ago. It’s not like the guy would refuse to take a call from the P.M of India so as to help the poor people of India get a start in life- it is literally the case that Manmohan can make a call and get the best brains to advise for free- not that there’s any lack of homegrown talent in this area.
    Yet, no! It’s all the fault of M.Raja who isn’t an Economist and certainly wasn’t given the posting because of any special skill.
    There can be no question in anybody’s mind that Manmohan must go.
    Unless he genuinely has Alzheimer’s in which case of course he is a man of integrity and we must cling to him for who knows when next we will the see the likes of him in the Cabinet?